Optimising T cell (re)boosting strategies for adenoviral and modified vaccinia Ankara vaccine regimens in humans.
Capone S., Brown A., Hartnell F., Sorbo MD., Traboni C., Vassilev V., Colloca S., Nicosia A., Cortese R., Folgori A., Klenerman P., Barnes E., Swadling L.
Simian adenoviral and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) viral vectors used in heterologous prime-boost strategies are potent inducers of T cells against encoded antigens and are in advanced testing as vaccine carriers for a wide range of infectious agents and cancers. It is unclear if these responses can be further enhanced or sustained with reboosting strategies. Furthermore, despite the challenges involved in MVA manufacture dose de-escalation has not been performed in humans. In this study, healthy volunteers received chimpanzee-derived adenovirus-3 and MVA vaccines encoding the non-structural region of hepatitis C virus (ChAd3-NSmut/MVA-NSmut) 8 weeks apart. Volunteers were then reboosted with a second round of ChAd3-NSmut/MVA-NSmut or MVA-NSmut vaccines 8 weeks or 1-year later. We also determined the capacity of reduced doses of MVA-NSmut to boost ChAd3-NSmut primed T cells. Reboosting was safe, with no enhanced reactogenicity. Reboosting after an 8-week interval led to minimal re-expansion of transgene-specific T cells. However, after a longer interval, T cell responses expanded efficiently and memory responses were enhanced. The 8-week interval regimen induced a higher percentage of terminally differentiated and effector memory T cells. Reboosting with MVA-NSmut alone was as effective as with ChAd3-NSmut/MVA-NSmut. A ten-fold lower dose of MVA (2 × 107pfu) induced high-magnitude, sustained, broad, and functional Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific T cell responses, equivalent to standard doses (2 × 108 pfu). Overall, we show that following Ad/MVA prime-boost vaccination reboosting is most effective after a prolonged interval and is productive with MVA alone. Importantly, we also show that a ten-fold lower dose of MVA is as potent in humans as the standard dose.